Talk to anyone who has lived in Singapore and chances are they will tell you it’s a vibrant regional hub that offers endless personal and professional opportunity. It’s an easy claim to affirm: Singapore has been named one of the world’s safest, smartest cities and ranks highly for healthcare and education on the global spectrum. A culturally and religiously diverse city that was once considered third-world, Singapore is home to 5.6 million people, nestled between Malaysia and Indonesia.
At Mint Talent, our recruitment specialisation in media, marketing, digital and adtech across the Asia-Pacific region means that we are connected with some incredible talent across the globe. Many of our candidates have been lucky enough to live and work in a number of different cities, but Singapore is always a universal favourite for its central location on the world map, making it an ideal “halfway point” for those with family overseas, its family-friendly vibe, cleanliness and efficiency. We reached out to some of our candidates to find out more.
What do you need to work in Singapore?
Moving overseas is always a big decision, and while the process of getting an Employment Pass (visa for working foreigners) in Singapore is relatively straightforward, there’s things to know:
Before you move, you need to get an Employment Pass approved by the Ministry of Manpower, with the fee payable by your new employer. The application itself needs to be put forward by your employer or employment agency, and you need to earn at least $3,600 a month and have acceptable qualifications to be considered. If you’re a first-time applier, the pass is valid for up to 2 years and if you’re renewing, it’s valid for 3 years. The turnaround time is quite fast (2-3 weeks at most) and while it’s a cost to the company, it’s not expensive. Once you have the Employment Pass you can live, work, enter tenancy agreements, set up banking etcetera so it’s essential that you have it if you want it to be a smooth transition. We recommend speaking with a migration agent or a migration lawyer to ensure you get the right advice for your situation.
How would you describe the living experience?
There is a huge misconception of Singapore being sterile, boring, even fake – but it’s hugely diverse with lots of interest. If you just step outside the area slightly you might walk down a street that has temples as much as it does super modern buildings.Source: Tim Castle, Crimtan
Singapore does have a high population density, but it’s not described as busy. The laid-back, adaptable culture that this city has cultivated means that private transport is restricted on roads, infrastructure is well thought out and there’s no queue for doctors like you may experience in Australia. There’s always new and interesting cultural experiences to try (food included!) and it’s an efficient, digitally-savvy city. There are lots of parks, space and greenery; making it a naturally beautiful settling point for families, with plenty of outdoor activity options. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, you pay less tax in Singapore compared to Australia – and the people also contribute considerably to the pleasant ambiance of Singapore. Singaporeans are genuinely nice people who are very welcoming and accommodating to expats; their willingness to help and their friendliness being key traits.
Why would someone want to work in Singapore?
I find myself having the chance to work with people from all around the world which is quite unique in the region and even in the world. Due to the diversity of the talent in the country, I find the workplace culture to be quite open and international – there is no dominating “local” culture that everyone feels obliged to comply. The culture is largely dependent on how the leadership and people shapes it
Source: Tim Castle, Crimtan
What does the ideal candidate look like in the media or marketing industry in Singapore?
It was widely acknowledged that data, programmatic and tech are growing more and more in demand, not just in the industry in Singapore but globally.
More insights included:
- Great candidates will be ones that can navigate programmatic and trading platforms and convert needs of clients; someone who can put themselves in another’s shoes and understand their media.
- Someone who can talk at all levels, adapt and tell them what’s needed – a key factor is being able to link people together and make connections.
- Have an open mind, the media industry generally moves quite fast in
- Singapore and you need to be willing to learn.
Data skills are highly regarded and experience in the programmatic and tech area, and/or SEO/SEM is a plus too. In the US, a lot of brands are taking their programmatic in-house but if it’s an expensive campaign they can have the budget to hire someone with that knowledge.
- Fly over beforehand and book some tours so you can get a feel for the area. Ask yourself, “is this something I will really enjoy?”. It might not be a permanent relocation, but you want it to be long-term.
- Buy medical or health insurance before you move! There’s nothing worse than being stuck without it when you need it.
- Have an open mind, the media industry generally moves quite fast in Singapore and you need to be willing to learn.
- Above everything – invest in the experience and just enjoy it! It’s not meant to be stressful and if you throw yourself in it, you will find the right people. It doesn’t need to be a struggle, everyone will help you.